Friday, December 18, 2009

Not a Kitty Toy

We've tried to teach Frisco that the Christmas Tree is not a Kitty Toy.

We purchased cat repellent and sprayed it on the tree skirt; um, that didn't work.

So, basically our strategy is to shut the doors and keep her away from the tree unless there are people handy to monitor her behavior and spray her with the water bottle if she gets too inquisitive.

However, The Artist was home with her today and went upstairs without securing the doors behind him.

Oh, doesn't she look innocent? But...the evidence is there, along with several saggy tree branches.

Why the delicate ornaments did not come out of the box this year...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Watch and pray....

One of my sewing buddies wrote a post about one of her children doing well in a public venue, and having folks congratulate her on his performance (Mermaids). I read her post and thought it over and realized that it is far easier for parents to allow their children to own their successes than it is for us to allow them to own their failures. If my kid does really well on something, it's because he/she is a great kid, using the talents God has given him/her.

On the other hand, though, if one of my kids messes up, drops the ball, fails, it's all too easy to believe that it must be because I've done something wrong as a parent. Surely, if I'd've encouraged at the right times, disciplined in the right way, explained life a little better, modeled the right kind of discipline in my own life, this would not have happened! It must be my fault...

Granted, parents have a large input in both the failures and successes of their kids. But ultimately, as my sewing buddy pointed out, the decision to push through to excellence or to give up and let things slide is the child's own decision. There comes a point at which there is nothing more a parent can do but watch.

It's a tough assignment. But right now I'm watching...

Oh. And praying. ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Time Elapsed: 30 minutes

Three months. It's been three months since I said I wanted to accept the ten-hour challenge. And, while I've spent time reading and studying, I haven't really sat down and said, 'Lord, I'm listening.'

Hadn't spent 10 minutes trying to listen to God talk to me about His plans for me.

So, finally, Monday I managed to tear myself away from the pile of unfinished and behind work and carry my Bible down to the sanctuary for 30 minutes of listening during lunchtime.

I wasn't sure where to start; because I was in Isaiah in my read-the-Bible-through effort,I read Isaiah 41-50.

That's an incredibly encouraging passage...over and over again, God compares Himself to man-made idols. And over and over again, the difference is obvious:

We serve a God who acts when called upon. One who has a plan and a purpose that we can fulfill, if we'll only trust and follow Him.

And that's a good place to start.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Word in Due Season

God is really amazing.

Three church services this morning...and all three contained insights that ministered straight to my weary-in-fighting-the-battle self. Nothing I didn't really already know, but reminder after reminder that He is in control.

First service I taught the high school MPact club...we're doing a unit on Family Relationships which, to be honest, has been pretty much of a snoozer. But today we looked at Joseph and his dysfunctional family of origin, and I was reminded in my own exposition that God uses all things to bring about His plan and purpose.

I sat in second service and listened to the message...which, among other things, was an exhortation to position myself for fellowship and intimacy w/ keep first things first.

Third service we left the regularly scheduled message altogether and just had a time of worship and prayer and ministry. Pastor specifically prayed for those who were getting weary in the battle and feeling dry.

No, nothing in our situation has really changed. But my Father reminded me that I am still His daughter, and He can be trusted. He gently pointed out to me that I haven't been doing the daily pursuit as I had intended and I realized with a shock that, good grief, it's been 3 months since I stated my plan to do that! What happened?

No matter now. His mercies are new every morning. Tomorrow is a new day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

When Faith Kicks In

Several years back, I taught the book of James for the local Christian Women's Job Corps site (those of you who did the James study with me remember that I used that study as the basis for the one I did here). In one of the sessions...I don't remember which...I heard myself say something to the effect of "Faith doesn't kick in until it looks hopeless."

That wasn't in my notes, but I realized that it was true. It's easy to believe God's working when you can see a way out; it's when you don't see a way out that it's hard to hold on to the promises.

I've mentioned that the younger kids are struggling with their grades; that has been a great disappointment to me because I thought we'd been through that and they had adjusted. By the time we realized they dropped their respective balls, there was precious little time left in the term. We've tried to contact the teachers; there's one that still hasn't responded (although it is possible the response has been lost in cyberspace). Meantime, the hole has been dug deeper. Now, there's no excuse for the continued use of the digging equipment...but if we'd gotten some feedback from that teacher, we possibly could've headed it off.

Water under the bridge at this point. We have 3 days of classes and then finals left. There may be reaping of what was sown, and there may be gnashing of teeth once the term is over.

Faith kicking in requires me to believe that God is more concerned with my kids getting what they need than I am. He will not allow failure unless He has a plan to redeem it. No...that's not quite right. If the kids choose to fail, He will allow it. But He also stands ready to redeem it when they follow Him. Ultimately, it's not about my faith that God will not allow my kids to fail, it's about their faith that He can guide them through even personal failure to His purpose if they will commit their way to Him.

Not commit their way to me. Commit their way to Him.

That's the hard part. Trusting Him with matter what.

And I know that things could be soooo much worse. It's not a horrid disease. It's not criminal activity. It's not blatant rebellion. It's...grades. It's a place in the magnet program.

But my heart hurts for them just the put themselves in such a hard place when just a little discipline and responsibility could've prevented the whole thing.

But, I know He is trustworthy; He has plans to prosper and not to harm, plans for a hope and a future.

No matter how ugly it gets for the next term; I believe He is able to put them where they need to be.

Doesn't look good, but I believe.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I actually sat down over the last couple of days and re-read the little study I posted about Advent last year.

I feel like someone else wrote that. Someone who could think and reflect and write things to inspire thinking and reflecting. Not me...not anymore.

Or at least not at this moment.

I know what happened....the 18 hour work week totally socked my blogging time. But not only that, the dig-and-reflect time has evaporated as well. Spoiled, I was, and that's the truth. I'll concede that it's not *just* the work week; costuming two school plays this fall really hit the blogging/creative time as well.

I'm not sure I'm happy with this scenario. And I'm not sure it's been good for my family...the kids' grades are rocky again. I really hoped that after last quarter's near miss they'd learned something about focus, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Now, maybe that has to do with Mom working and maybe it doesn't, but I know that between the work and the volunteer stuff (for school, no less!) the bad grades snuck up on us and now I'm not sure there's enough time left in the grading period for them to pull things together.

So add Mom-stress to the mix. The help to the bank accounts has been very welcome; maybe even critical, so just going back to the way things were really isn't an option. Besides, I'd hate to leave the office ladies in the lurch by going to the house just when I was catching on enough to be a help to them.

Still, something is going to have to change before long; probably not my circumstances, but in how I'm handling things. This transition is taking longer than I anticipated...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I can wish, can't I?

So, I am on the campus of the college that was hosting the Trumbauer competition, chaperoning the drama class and, at that particular moment early Friday afternoon, sitting in the lobby of one of the buildings making a lunch from a Star Kist Tuna lunch kit and a pack of crackers-n-cheese. My black book bag, easily the only choice for hauling stuff around for a day on campus, is on the sofa next to me, still unzipped from my foraging around for the munchables. I've got on a black turtleneck sweater and blue jeans, and I've got my beat up 'purse Bible' out, working on the lesson material for this morning's Girls Only class.

Suddenly, a group of about 4 ladies enter the building, and one comes over to me and speaks.

"Excuse you go to school here?"

My first reaction is regret that I won't be able to provide whatever information she is seeking.
"No, I'm sorry, I don't."

Then it hits me and my jaw drops.

"Do I go to school here? Oh, honey, you're my new best friend!"

Laughter all around...and they head off to find someone to help.

Now, I know that she didn't really LOOK at me...she probably just registered someone in jeans w/head down, studying, with a bookbag. I'm sure she was shocked to see my 50-year-old face look up to answer her question.

But it made my day just the same. If I'd've had the app for my phone, I'd've made it my Facebook status:

"I just got mistaken for a college student!"

What a hoot.